Sunday, 23 March 2014

Easy like Sunday mornings...

I love baking, I really really do. When I was at college I would spend every holiday baking something different and exciting. I love experimentation and making my own recipes. Lately I haven't been able to fit baking into my routine, working 42 hours a week as well as blogging and trying to keep up a social life (and failing) means baking has definitely taken the back seat. This morning, I decided that had to change. I woke up bright and early - 8.30am (come on, it is a Sunday) and decided to bake a cake. Lemon Curd victoria sponge. A recipe that I have designed myself and perfected after many trials. The recipe is as follows...

Lemon Curd Victoria Sponge

The cake
6oz Margarine
6oz Caster Sugar (Granulated sugar can be used if need be, but will take away from the smooth texture)
3 eggs
6oz Self raising flour
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of half a lemon

Butter Icing
7oz Icing sugar
2.5oz Unsalted butter
Juice of half a lemon

Half a jar of lemon curd - The cheaper the better!
Icing sugar to dust
Some kind of mixing device

 First and foremost, TURN ON THE OVEN. I can't think of the amount of times I have gone to put a cake in the oven and forgotten to turn the oven on. Save yourself half an hour of your day and turn it on before you start. 170 degrees in a fan oven should be about right. 

Next you want to line your tins, the easiest way to do this is to use a loose base tin. Take out the base and draw around the base onto greaseproof paper, then you'll save time as you wont be sitting there cutting it down to size. 

There are two methods of combining the ingredients, method 1 is the slower way of mixing but ensures the best results. Method 2 is the quick method, the method I chose to use today. I will go through both.
Method 1
Measure up the 6oz of Margarine and Caster sugar and add into the mixing bowl of choice. Cream the two together until smooth. You can do this by using the back of a large spoon or with an electric whisk. Next, add the three eggs one at a time. Between each egg, add a little self raising flour and mix. This helps bring the mixture together and ensures the sponge is light.  Add the rest of the self raising flour and mix together. 

Next you need to zest a whole lemon, ensuring to only zest the first layer of the lemon's skin. Any more and you could make the sponge taste too sharp. Half then lemon and squeeze the juice from one half into the mixng bowl. Mix together one final time until super smooth.

Method 2 

Add all the measured ingredients, lemon zest and juice and mix together until smooth and pale in colour.

Take your two lined tins and add the mixture equally.

Now it's time for them to go in the oven. 25 minutes is all they need, as soon as they start going golden on top they are done. Any longer and you'll have biscuits instead of sponge!

Once cool, take them out of the tins and decide which you want as the top and which you want as the bottom. This cake isn't going to be a beautiful masterpiece so levelling the cake isn't necessary. 

Now it's time to make the buttercream. The buttercream needs to be almost white and stiff so an electric whisk is probably preferable here. Add the 7oz of Icing sugar and 2.5oz of unsalted butter to a mixing bowl and add the juice of the other half of the lemon we used earlier. Mix until the icing has become extremely pale in colour. Spread the buttercream onto the bottom sponge and then add the lemon curd on top.

Add the top sponge, sprinkle a bit of icing sugar on top and you're done!

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